System Account Manager
(SAM) A password database stored as a registry file in Windows NT and Windows 2000.
The System Account Manager (SAM) database stores users' passwords in a hashed format. Since a hash function is one-way, this provides some measure of security for the storage of the passwords. In an attempt to enhance the security of the SAM database against offline cracking, Microsoft introduced the SYSKEY utility in Windows NT 4.0.